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Formal Speech / Keigo

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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby coco » Tue 11.18.2008 12:52 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:The only thing I can think of is that maybe the book said that instead of saying a literal translation of "How are you", いい天気ですね is a better conversation opener or filler phrase.

I agree with you. I guess the writer of the textbook was born before 1945.

When 夏目漱石 was a school teacher, one of his students translated a phrase "I love you" into あなたを愛しています. 漱石 taught students that it should be translated as ( あなたと一緒に見ると) 月がきれいですね.
I believe most Japanese people have admired this translation. 
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 11.19.2008 12:01 am

coco wrote:When 夏目漱石 was a school teacher, one of his students translated a phrase "I love you" into あなたを愛しています. 漱石 taught students that it should be translated as ( あなたと一緒に見ると) 月がきれいですね.
I believe most Japanese people have admired this translation. 


I've always liked that translation as well. :D
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.19.2008 1:41 am

mongol800 wrote:今日はいい天気です。


I thought it was simply a beginner's attempt at "秋冷の候、貴社ますますご清栄のことと慶び申し上げます。" or the like :D
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 11.19.2008 2:56 am

keatonatron wrote:
mongol800 wrote:今日はいい天気です。


I thought it was simply a beginner's attempt at "秋冷の候、貴社ますますご清栄のことと慶び申し上げます。" or the like :D


I considered that as well, but it seemed odd to me that they would be teaching keigo as well as the fact that your letter should have the "obligatory seasonal reference" and then somehow forget to mention that いい天気ですね does not count as a "seasonal reference." :D
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.19.2008 9:13 am

For the next letter I write, I'll be sure to start out with "いい天気の候" :lol:
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby furrykef » Wed 11.19.2008 11:54 am

So, is the question he probably intended to ask -- お元気ですか -- appropriate in a business letter? I suspect it would still sound odd in that context.
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.19.2008 1:03 pm

My impression is "no", although I know very little about formal letter writing in Japanese. There are a lot of set phrases you are supposed to use, and you can buy books that lay them out for you. My electronic dictionary has a feature that will write a formal letter for you after you pick some options showing what kind of letter it is, and then you just fill in a few specifics and names.

I think "ogenki desu ka" is common in written correspondence; the phrase is often used when you haven't seen someone in a while, which tends to be the case if you are writing them a letter. This would be a slightly more casual letter, perhaps to a previous business acquaintance or something like that. (The other main use for "ogenki desu ka" is if you know someone has been sick recently.)
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby mongol800 » Wed 11.19.2008 3:04 pm

I know ii tenki desu ne means good with, eh?

ii good,
tenki kanji : (ama) and ki feeling... tenki = weather.

desune. sort of like eh? or don't you agree?

however, in yomimono of an earlier section...
it says translated into: Genki desuka and ikagadesuka sound strange to a person you see everyday. Japanese people often use iitenki desune when greeting someone. It is often translated as how are you.
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.19.2008 3:36 pm

furrykef wrote:So, is the question he probably intended to ask -- お元気ですか -- appropriate in a business letter? I suspect it would still sound odd in that context.


If anything it would be いかがおすごしでしょうか, which is the even-more-formal version of お元気ですか.

Although when writing a business letter, you usually just say something along the lines of "I hope your company is doing well".

The line I posted the time before last is a direct quote from a business letter I wrote. :wink:
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Re: Formal Speech / Keigo

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 11.19.2008 8:02 pm

mongol800 wrote:I know ii tenki desu ne means good with, eh?

ii good,
tenki kanji : (ama) and ki feeling... tenki = weather.

desune. sort of like eh? or don't you agree?

however, in yomimono of an earlier section...
it says translated into: Genki desuka and ikagadesuka sound strange to a person you see everyday. Japanese people often use iitenki desune when greeting someone. It is often translated as how are you.


It's fine to use in place of a greeting to someone you meet often and and when appropriate (i.e. you obviously wouldn't say in when it's raining or freezing cold), but in a letter it sounds very strange. Especially as you have know way of knowing whether it actually is nice weather or not, where and when the recipient will read the message.
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